Maxpedition Gearslinger Sitka Review (LONG)

Maxpedition Gearslinger Sitka Review (LONG)

This is a discussion on Maxpedition Gearslinger Sitka Review (LONG) within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I wrote this up and posted on another forum. Hopefully it helps anyone on the fence. Review of the Maxpedition Gearslinger Sitka First and foremost ...

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Thread: Maxpedition Gearslinger Sitka Review (LONG)

  1. #1
    Member Array robinsonre's Avatar
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    Maxpedition Gearslinger Sitka Review (LONG)

    I wrote this up and posted on another forum.

    Hopefully it helps anyone on the fence.

    Review of the Maxpedition Gearslinger Sitka
    First and foremost I should preface this by saying that I expected quite a bit from this bag. For $115 I feel I should expect that much, but that’s neither here nor there. That being said I’ll begin with some back-story. My love affair with Maxpedition products began relatively recently when I was hunting online for a decent travel bag. I needed something to take to a conference in New York City and I know better than to check any baggage when flying into or out of New Jersey. I rarely ever check luggage anyway, it just seems like more of a hassle than it’s worth. I purchased the maxpedition “Jumbo” versipack on sale for 69.99 and when it arrived I instantly fell in love with the product. It was about the right size, right weight and right dimensions. It fit me like a glove. After dragging it around through the NYC subway for 5 days, to the conference, through the metropolitan museum of art and up and down the streets of New York I decided it really was the right pick for me. I had finally accepted carrying a man-purse…and then something happened….I decided I wanted to carry more gear.
    A few weeks ago I decided I wanted a few more things in my EDC bag. You see my EDC bag has two purposes. First, it’s got the items I use on a daily basis: iPod, cell phone, notebook, papers, pencils, a novel etc. Second, it’s got everything I need if I had to bail or dig in during an emergency: a little food, a little bit of water, extra magazines for my HK etc. In short, I wanted a bag I could take to school or on a day hike without having to change the gear around. After puzzling for a while I sat down and wrote up a few of the qualities I wanted in the new EDC bag:

    1) The bag needed to be small enough and light enough to never be more than two rooms away from me.
    2) Simultaneously, the bag needed to carry all of my “regular gear” with a little bit of room left over for incidentals (lunch that day, an extra book, a paper I needed to read etc)
    3) The bag needed to keep my “concealables” in place. I didn’t want my personal defense gear spilling out or being readily visible when I reach for my novel.
    4) I needed to be able to access everything in the bag without taking it off of me
    5) I needed to be able to carry the bag in a way that would allow me to use public transportation without having to set the bag down anywhere.

    My search led me to a few different places and to MANY different products but I eventually decided that the Maxpedition Gearslinger Sitka would suit my needs best, and that LA Police Gear was the place to buy from. The bag was shipped promptly and arrived on my doorstep tonight. I had a few initial observations.

    1) This product is built to with common maxpedition standards. This thing is tough. The material it’s built out of feels like it could withstand being run over by a tank. The stitching is all double, and all quality. For a pricey item like this I would expect nothing less.
    2) There are lots of neat “addons”, from the multiple molle loops to the pickpocket lockout zipper ties to the Whistle/Chest Strap buckle this bag doesn’t run short on features.
    3) There aren’t many pockets, I’ll address this later.
    4) The bag seems to be equally well equipped to be held and carried in the vertical (on the back) or the horizontal (around the front) position.
    5) Bringing the bag from the back to the front is easy
    6) For a one shoulder bag, it’s pretty comfortable
    7) It fits okay for a big guy (6’4 290lbs)

    About this time I started getting antsy. I brought the bag into the bedroom unloaded the old EDC bag and started organizing the Sitka. Let me be clear about the Sitka, there’s ample room for everything here but organizing it will challenge your spatial thinking skills. With the Versipack space seemed to be plentiful and well organized. Things just seemed to fall into the right place. With the Sitka space always feels like it’s at a premium. Pockets are plentiful on the Versipack, they aren’t on the Sitka, this is a boon and a curse. Lots of pockets give you plenty of places to separate and organize, they also decrease overall total space and give you 800 things you have to open and rummage through before getting what you want. I would have liked to see at least one additional pocket on the Sitka.
    It took me about an hour to get everything composed in a way that was comfortable, accessible and fulfilled my need for complete concealability of some items. In the end I organized my gear into 5 separate function pockets: the “use every day/Big and Bulky”, the “use some days”, the “Gadget Pocket”, the “hope I never have to use” and the gun pocket. Here’s all the gear I managed to squeeze in.

    1) Main pocket “Use Every Day/Bulky”

    a. Notebook

    b. Large Novel (Currently “The Living Dead”)

    c. Binoculars in a case (I’m still on the fence about these, getting rid of them would free up some more space)
    d. First Aid Kit w/ CPR mask
    e. 2 Pair Latex Exam Gloves
    f. iPod Charger
    g. 3 Pencils, 3 Pens, 3 Sharpies, 1 Hi-Liter
    h. 50 note cards

    2) Bottom Front Pocket “Use Some Days”

    a. Sog Para-Tool
    b. 4 Granola bars
    c. Ziploc Bag’o’Cheez-its
    d. Deodorant
    e. Mini-Maglight
    f. Extra Batteries
    i. CR123s, AA, AAA
    g. Handheld GPS unit
    h. Handheld 2-way/weather radio
    i. Lighter

    3) Top Front Pocket “Hope I never have to use”

    a. 2 Extra 9 round HK Magazines
    b. Light Stick
    c. Matches
    d. Emergency Space Blanket
    e. Surefire G2 Nitrolon

    4) Very Front Pocket “Gadget Pocket”

    a. Blackberry Curve
    b. iPod (Nano 4G, but ample room for any of them)

    5) Gun Pocket

    a. Gun in Velcro holster OR
    b. Camelbak Bladder if I’m somewhere I can’t carry.

    6) Water bottle on side pocket

    All in all not a bad take for something smaller than a backpack. After I had everything organized I sat down and made a list of what I did and didn’t like about the Sitka. I’ll post that list here for those of you who are interested.

    The Likes

    1) Comfortable to carry, even fully loaded on one shoulder. The “chest strap” is comfortable but removes your ability to swing around to the front until it’s unhooked.
    2) A good amount of space for a small bag.
    3) VERY well constructed. Everything seems tough reliable.
    4) The pickpocket lockout feature on the main zipper compartment.
    5) The overall “look” of the bag (Mine is OD green if you’re curious
    6) The carry handles (This is one BIG feature that the Versipack lacked)
    7) The bag hugs tight to your body, even with a full load
    Plenty of molle loops for addons
    9) Lots of comfy padding
    10) Many organizational pockets in the main compartment
    11) The ability to convert between a CCW compartment and a Camelbak bladder
    12) The stretch material for holding magazines/etc in the top front pocket

    The Dislikes

    1) The price – Ouch…..$115 bucks. Sometimes you get what you pay for though
    2) The bag could have been a bit bigger and still been a compact carry
    3) The “stretch cord” and the compression straps are directly in front of the Velcro for the unit-patch, these can be removed optionally though.
    4) Plastic D-rings, I would have liked metal better
    5) The pockets could have been more plentiful and a bit more intuitive
    6) The “chest strap” could be a bit longer, and could probably affix a bit lower on the main shoulder strap

    Final notes:
    This is a fine product. I wouldn’t expect anything less from maxpedition and if it were any less of a product I’d be sending it back. All in all I feel I overpaid a bit for it, but certainly not enough to warrant returning it. I’d rank this product at being worth between $80 and $90. If you’re the kind of guy (or gal) that regularly fills up a backpack or large messenger bag with stuff this probably isn’t the right EDC for you. If you want a good bail out bag with room for a few of life’s luxuries or work items this bag is perfect. It would make a great traveling bag, as setting it down is not necessary just don’t expect to load an extra set of clothes in it. Finally, despite what maxpedition says this is NOT a suitable CCW option. Unhooking the chest strap, bringing the bag to your front, unzipping the pouch and retrieving the gun is FAR too many steps to be valuable in a life or death situation. You just wouldn’t be able to move fast enough. It is, however, an excellent way to clandestinely move a firearm from one place to another. It makes a good spot to store a firearm in a firearm unfriendly environment, and if you have no other choice it’s certainly better than not having a gun nearby.
    "Life exists at a level of complexity almost beyond our ability to comprehend. It's a well known fact that if you try to take apart a cat to see how it works one of the first things you have on your hands is a non-working cat" - Douglas Adams

    "All things are governed by law" - Hippocrates


  2. #2
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    Good review. I really didn't see a real advantage in the sitka line over the jumbo. It also didn't see how the CCW features could be accessible in a pack like that.
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  3. #3
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    Great review... thanks!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

    "A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
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    New Member Array RandomMOJO's Avatar
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    Would a Laptop fit comfortably?

    Anyone with experience with this bag...

    Robinsonre you seem like a good judge. Great review. Thanks for taking the time and being one of the first to write a review.

    Would the sitka fit my laptop for EDC? I have a Macbook 13.3 and have been seriously into this bag, this is the only thing holding me back from purchasing one right now. The computers measurements are roughly 13.5x9x1 (thats a just a bit generous).

    MOJO

  5. #5
    Member Array robinsonre's Avatar
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    I have a laptop ~ the same size as the Macbook 13.3" I will check tomorow however I have a feeling it probably would fit.

    However, I would not use this as a laptop bag as it does not have much "padding" for a laptop.
    "Life exists at a level of complexity almost beyond our ability to comprehend. It's a well known fact that if you try to take apart a cat to see how it works one of the first things you have on your hands is a non-working cat" - Douglas Adams

    "All things are governed by law" - Hippocrates

  6. #6
    New Member Array RandomMOJO's Avatar
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    Hey, thanks for checking . Im not 100% worried about the amount of padding the bag possesses. The computer will probably be in a sleeve anyways. I really like the sound of that bag and if my laptop fits I will be ordering one and I will sort out the fine print later.

    Thanks Again,
    MOJO

  7. #7
    New Member Array RandomMOJO's Avatar
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    SO... Whats the Verdict??? Did it fit?

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    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    I would swap the latex for Nitrile gloves. They're not gas permeable, they don't tear or puncture as easy, and they won't give you or the person you're dealing with a rash.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Thanks for the write-up.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

  10. #10
    Member Array Chiller2's Avatar
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    Good review,Did you consider the Colossus and if so what made you go with the sitka over it.

  11. #11
    Member Array robinsonre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandomMOJO View Post
    SO... Whats the Verdict??? Did it fit?
    Yes, my dell XPS m1210 fit.

    Quote Originally Posted by psychophipps View Post
    I would swap the latex for Nitrile gloves. They're not gas permeable, they don't tear or puncture as easy, and they won't give you or the person you're dealing with a rash.
    Thank you for the suggestion. I wear latex gloves everyday for work in a laboratory but had never thought about what they might do to someone I had to work on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chiller2 View Post
    Good review,Did you consider the Colossus and if so what made you go with the sitka over it.
    Yes, I briefly considered the colossus and may still buy one. I chose the Sitka because I wanted something that rode on my back rather than along my side like a messenger-bag.
    "Life exists at a level of complexity almost beyond our ability to comprehend. It's a well known fact that if you try to take apart a cat to see how it works one of the first things you have on your hands is a non-working cat" - Douglas Adams

    "All things are governed by law" - Hippocrates

  12. #12
    New Member Array rwdflynavy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the review. I ordered one in foliage green yesterday. Can't wait for it to arrive.

  13. #13
    Member Array medicineball's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Sitka questions for Robinsonre (or anyone)

    First things first: thanks, robinsonre, for an excellent review - it gave me the info I needed to be willing to drop the cash on the Sitka. I got it today, along with the maxpedition concealed carry holster, and I've got two questions:

    1. No matter what I do, the front sight on the gun (trijicon on a glock 36) snag on the holster while drawing. Is there a way to fix this, or do I just need a better holster? Is so, recommendations?

    2. Have you used the tactie straps that come with it? They seem prione to loosening - would velcro straps be better?

    Thanks!

  14. #14
    Member Array robinsonre's Avatar
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    People seemed to like this review.

    I'm getting two more Maxpedition products this week, a Condor II backpack and a Jumbo Versipack.

    If anyone's interested in full reviews of these let me know.

    I can even throw up some digital photos this time!
    "Life exists at a level of complexity almost beyond our ability to comprehend. It's a well known fact that if you try to take apart a cat to see how it works one of the first things you have on your hands is a non-working cat" - Douglas Adams

    "All things are governed by law" - Hippocrates

  15. #15
    Member Array GLOCK23FAN's Avatar
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    Excellent review! Maxpedition are the best at what they do, hands down. I have friends that have been using their products since the company started and they all have nothing but good things to say about the quality of their products.

    I ordered a Maxpedition "Fat Boy" Versipak that should be here any day now. I also ordered a 3 magazine holder and a CCW holster for the bag. I plan on doing a video review of it when I get it and will post it here in the forums.

    Thanks again for a great review!

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